When we come to Yahushua[Jesus] for forgiveness and salvation, we enter into the eternal realm of His Kingdom, and begin a life-long journey with Him.
If we truly desire to follow Him, because of our joy and gratitude for all He has done for us, then it follows that we would naturally desire to please Him.
We would therefore desire to make the choice to surrender to Him as our loving Master. Choosing Him as Master means we willingly “take His yoke” upon us, and gladly enter into a partnership with Him, to begin learning of Him:
Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)
Yahushua says “Come to me. Take my yoke upon you.” When we volunteer to take His yoke upon us, we do so only because we greatly love Him! We then begin to learn His Ways and His Words. We begin to learn what He has spoken in His Word so that we can be a pleasing yoke-mate to Him, obeying His instructions.
- [If you have never taken the initial step of “Coming” to Yahushua for forgiveness and salvation, then please see the brief article: Good News.]
The Nature of a Yoke
When we begin our walk with Yahushua as a yoke-mate, we are entering into a position of serving. Our walk with Him, and our spiritual growth, is worked out within the confines of His yoke — serving alongside Him as a fellow yoke-mate. We learn obedience to His Words, all within the confines of our natural, earthly circumstances.
As we saw in First the Natural, Then the Spiritual, much of our preparation for spiritual growth is worked out in the natural realm of our everyday, natural circumstances. Many things we do in the natural realm have a profound effect on us spiritually, which illustrates the important Biblical Principle — First the Natural, Then the Spiritual. The unseen, eternal characteristics of the Kingdom of Heaven are built into our lives as we learn spiritual lessons within our unique circumstances of the natural, earthly realm of our own life.
Many of us cannot change our natural circumstances. We are in situations and relationships that are mostly unchanging, immovable. That is the nature of a yoke – a solid and steady boundary, something unchanging and immovable!
The Word of Yahuwah is a picture of the yoke of Yahushua. Yah’s Word is a solid, unchanging boundary that we learn to yield to, within our natural, earthly realm. We learn to yield to God’s Word because of His love for us and our love for Him! However, our natural circumstances are a solid, mostly unchanging boundary as well. This natural setting of ours is also a picture of the yoke of Yahushua.
Let us look at the spiritual training we experience by taking Yahushua’s yoke upon us, and the relationship this has within our natural circumstances.
What would be a first step for understanding Yahuwah’s Way for us in our natural, earthly realm of being a fellow yoke-mate with Yahushua? In the previous Post, we looked at the all-important charater qualities of Yahushua, our fellow yoke-mate. Now we will consider two more steps as tips for being His yoke-mate.
The First Step For the Yoke-Mate of Yahushua
The first step would be to understand that His yoke is easy, IF we are a willing and yielded partner with Him. Therefore, on His part, Yahushua is ready and willing to lovingly guide us in every step we take!
As a yoke-mate with Yahushua, the fundamental thing to understand is that we have chosen to enter into the position of a servant; and Yahuwah’s Word has some specific instructions for servants:
And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient. (2Timothy 2:24)
Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory (self-importance); but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves. (Philippians 2:3)
Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart (Ephesians 6:5,6).
As these verses teach us, within the confines of the yoke of Yahushua, “the servant of the Lord must not strive.” As a yoke-mate with Yahushua, we must learn the overall behaviour of servanthood, which is no striving.
Striving is a sure way to spiritually rub our neck raw!!
Striving is not the nature of a servant, nor of the one who wears the yoke of Yahushua. Striving means we are exerting our own effort, our own energy, and our own pressure, or tension. Such behaviour is most often associated with resistance, and going against something.
Whenever we notice our efforts as beginning to strive, beginning to pressure and/or resist, then we need to ask ourselves: What — or Who — are we resisting?
We are not to strive with one another, AND we are not to strive with The Master, nor His Word.
The Second Step For the Yoke-Mate of Yahushua
As a fellow yoke-mate with Yahushua, a second, vital step for our training is the attitude and behavior we exhibit toward our natural, earthly authorities.
Let’s consider this Scripture verse:
Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. (Romans 13:1,2)
As these verses show us, the powers, or the authorities, in our life have been ordained [appointed] by Yahuwah! The earthly authorities in our life are an essential part of wearing the spiritual yoke of Yahushua!
Our authorities are, in most cases, an unchangeable situation. That is the nature of a yoke! And what we do in the natural realm regarding our earthly authorities greatly affects our walk, our growth, and our contentment in the spiritual realm.
Our First Authority
Certainly our most essential first authority is the Word of Yahuwah, from Genesis to Revelation! Choosing to remain within the confines of the written Word of God is absolutely critical to our walk with Yahushua! Which is why it is so important that each one of us reads and studies God’s Word, learning for ourselves its supreme truth!
Now let’s consider our first authority in the natural realm of our day-to-day circumstances.
Our first and most intimate, natural realm authority is our parents. Our parents are given to us by Yahuwah to be our first earthly authorities. They are representative of Yahuwah’s government, and His dealings with us, within our lives.
Though parents have faults and make lots of mistakes, Yahuwah entrusted them with children. It is the parents’ position as the children’s authority that is so very important for us to respect!
Yahuwah watches us very closely to see how we behave toward our authorities, and especially, our most intimate authorities — our parents. Why? Because our parents represent Yahuwah’s position of authority!
Yahuwah knows exactly what each of us needs, and He chooses our parents as His representative for our good. Even if our parents are not yet right with Yahuwah, that does not matter with regard to our own behavior toward our parents. It is our own behavior that we must be concerned about. It is our own behaviour that may need adjustment, so that we may come into harmony with Father’s standards, regardless of what our parents do!
If we resist and scorn the earthly authorities in our lives, we are resisting Yahushua’s yoke — we are resisting what Yahuwah has ordained and established for our spiritual training. Our resistance is creating a spiritually sore neck! Ouch!
“But What About??”
Perhaps you are gasping. “What?! My earthly authority?! But what about??” “What about … that boss of mine? … that supervisor? … that judge?” “What about that teacher? … that pastor? … those elders?” “But what about my parents?” “But what about that husband of mine?” “You, you have no idea what I’m dealing with! Oh, the unfairness, the injustice!!”
Dear Reader, our Heavenly Father knows all about it! And He has not changed His mind.
Father has called you and me to be servants, just like Messiah Yahushua, who said, “I am among you as the one who serves” (Luke 22:27). Yahushua is our example to follow! He came to serve, not retaliate. “When He suffered, He threatened not, but committed Himself to Him that judges righteously!” Those who choose to take up His yoke need to learn to do the same — in the natural realm.
Serving Our Authorities
Let’s look at some passages that give instructions for servanthood in relation to authorities:
Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. (1Pet 2:18)
Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you. (Heb 13:17)
Honor thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee; …that it may go well with thee. (Deut 5:16)
Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honor the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the LORD. (Lev 19:32) (be attentive and respectful before the aged and gray-headed)
As these Scriptures teach us, Yahuwah wants us to serve faithfully, in the natural realm, those authorities who are over us – the good authorities, as well as, the not-so-good authorities. If we will do well, we will yield to their wishes, learn what they desire of us, and be submissive, if they are not requiring us to clearly violate the Scriptures.
- [If our authority is asking us to do something that violates Scripture, then that is the time to earnestly seek Father’s direction, wait patiently for His intervention on our behalf, and if necessary, respectfully make an appeal.]
The prophet Daniel is a great example of faithfully and respectfully serving, in the natural realm, his ungodly, pagan authorities, while still maintaining His obedience to the Scriptures (see Daniel, chapters 1,2, & 6).
Most of us simply need to be of a humble, respectful spirit and learn the spiritual lessons of humility and servanthood. Therefore we must stop thinking so highly of ourselves, so that we may become the servant that Abba Father desires us to be. We must all go to Yahushua and begin to yield to His Way for us — that is, lay down ‘my’ rights; surrender ‘my’ agenda, and avoid stubborn-ness. That is what it means to take His yoke upon you.
The Heart-and-Soul of Our Training
Yieldedness, servanthood, respect, tender-hearted — these are qualities Yahushua desires to develop in us, in the laboratory of our everyday circumstances of life! The attitudes and behaviours we exhibit daily toward our natural, earthly authorities are the heart-and-soul issues of our training for spiritual maturity and growth!
The earthly authorities in our life are an essential part of the yoke of Yahushua. Our authorities are, in most cases, an unchangeable situation. That is the nature of a yoke! What we do in the natural realm regarding our earthly authorities greatly affects our walk and our growth in the spiritual realm. Great blessings await us for heeding the Word of Yahuwah in this crucial area of our lives:
When a man’s ways please Yahuwah [the LORD], He maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him. (Proverbs 16:7)
If we are seeking to truly please Yahuwah in this most serious natural arena of life, then, as the above verse teaches, He has promised that even our enemies will be at peace with us. That is indeed, a great spiritual benefit!
- Are we being tender-hearted and submissive to our natural, earthly authorities?
- Are we yielded, respectful, seeking to serve others, and not to rule others?
- Are we allowing Yahushua’s character to be worked into our daily life?
- Are we seeking Father’s help – crying out for His grace to enable us to follow in His steps?
- Or — are we resisting, complaining, being stubborn, justifying ourselves, retaliating — thus gaining for ourselves a spiritually rubbed-raw neck?
These questions are to be faithfully on our mind in regard to our attitudes and behaviours among our natural, earthly authorities – the powers that be in our own life! Let us seek for Yahuwah’s help! Let us learn to be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. This is so important — that we grieve not the Spirit of Messiah [our fellow yoke-mate], for that is unprofitable for us!
Partnered With The Master
By faith, we have chosen to enter into partnership with Yahushua to follow His example — learning of Him, and to be like Him. His example of humility, yieldedness, faithfulness, and servanthood are eternal, yoke-mate qualities.
Godly spiritual characteristics of the Kingdom of Heaven are built into our lives within the unique, earthly circumstances of our own life, and especially, regarding our behaviour toward to our earthly authorities.
At times, we may experience great agony and difficulties within the confines of His yoke. But let us recall that “our light affliction, which is but for a moment” is working for us! The difficulties are working for us “a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we look … at the things which are not seen….” (2Corinthians 4:17,18).
“Go wherever you will, but you shall find no rest, but in humble subjection under the governing of your authority.” – Thomas a Kempis
Messiah yielded to His Father’s authority — He yielded to His Father’s wishes and guidance. Yahushua laid down His own desires, His own rights, His own life, to fulfill His Father’s desires and plans.
Yahushua is the greatest example of servanthood, humility, brokenness, and obedience! He graciously endured the injustices, and He successfully completed all the work that Father sent Him to do — first in the natural, earthly realm, and then in the spiritual realm!
May we earnestly desire to follow His example of humility, brokenness, and obedience — in the natural realm!
Let us ask Father’s help daily to be a suitable and pleasing yoke-mate! May we earnestly desire to take His yoke upon us, and enter into His spiritual training and blessings!
Please see the companion post: First the Natural, Then the Spiritual
- That It May Be Well With You
- The Essence of Obedience
- Walking By Faith
- Walking in Newness of Life
- Faith: According to the Scriptures
- New Covenant Liberty: Freedom to Choose
- Acquiring A Teachable Heart
- Queen Esther’s Example: Putting On Our Royal Apparel